This video shows in great detail how to get the feel for a solid forehand volley with control. Notice that the volley is an outside to in shot with the elbow. The elbow starts away from body then closes in from right to to left for a right handed player. Jeremy’s forehand volley video is one of the most insightful revelations I’ve ever seen.
This is a great video of how to stay loose on the forehand, and that not everyone swings “like” Roger Federer. This video shows how to keep your eye on the ball and the order of the moving parts of the body for the forehand. The serve segment shows how to distribute weight shift and the proper use of leg drive.
The fluidity of the forehand volley is surprising. From the graphic video shown below I see total relaxation in the preparation of the volley where the racquet tip raises to the height of contact, then pushes to the ball as the “tip of the racquet naturally kicks back with lag.” This little movement creates amazing feel, relaxation and trust as the hand movement forward creates effortless power with little spin on the ball. Watching this video over and over will give you the feel of how the forehand volley is consistently placed well throughout a match. Enjoy it. This schematic was used by Vic Braden a great coach whom I had the pleasure to work for back in the 80’s when he brought his tennis camp to New Seabury on Cape Cod. When it rained we came to the club that I’m at now—The Falmouth Sports Center.
Roger has the ability to handle anything high or low, fast or slow, at the body, or wide, using a wide variety of shot selections based upon how much time he has to prepare for the return. Notice that he hops up on the serve at contact so when he lands he is “already moving with his body fluidly” to the direction he needs to make the return. He also “faces” the forehand return of serve straight on! with little or no shoulder rotation (this is on fast serves or first serves). He is very open in his stance and keeps it and crosses over with the leg that was closest to the middle of court, then “crosses over” dynamically and fluidly to the the outside of the court. all the while keeping his shoulders square to the net! This keeps his motion compact, efficient and balanced. On second serves he opens up his swings to apply more power to the ball. He can run around his backhand in the ad court and wrap it down the line using a directional or fire inside out to a right hander’s backhand. In the deuce court he can run around his backhand and fire in any direction. He also can slice backhand returns on some second serves and he then positions himself back a few feet from the baseline behind the center line to play a neutral point. He also will step in and drive some backhand returns closer to the baseline on second serves that are higher up in the shoulders which is not an easy shot to make! On First serve backhand returns he tends to compact counter drive with an eastern grip.
His backhand and forehand returns can be driven up the line! If placed well, they are out right winners. He uses compact movement to square the contact point. As if this isn’t enough, he can sneak in and attack a return, and approach the net!!!!!! His technique in those returns are still the same. He may chip the forehand wing on a second serve and approach.
These guys serve very consistently and locate serves to set up points. If I could only practice one shot this would be the one. Notice how compact their motions are for the loading phase. Personally, after experimenting with many different styles of serve, I find compact motions have led to better outcomes. The main reason is that the ball is easier to time with all the various links that need to smoothly launch and “find” the ball.
This clip is a great view of where the ball is tossed and how Federer opens up the court on a wide inside-out pitch that kicks into the stands. Power is not the priority here. It’s placement. And the ball clears the highest part of the net with a great bend. All of his body is used to generate this shot with seemingly effortless movement. Also, for this kind of kick he uses a slightly more exaggerated serve grip past his first serve grip to create more spin. Aiming for a target in the service box and working on a “kick right” bounce is a great way to practice this technique.
Bob Bryan’s volley is very compact and is it with little spin. This produces very consistent ball. He starts with his hands low and his racquet just a little above his wrist. He prepares racquet head at the ball height and hits through the volley with little spin. He is very comfortable taking the volley with an open stance.
See how to volley to volley at the service line while moving laterally and targeting back to your hitting partner.
Notice that having a wide base and good balance allows for consistent results while hitting forehand volleys.